9-year-old Pakistani girl kidnapped and gang-raped
The girl was admitted to a hospital in Bahawalpur after being raped on Wednesday. She remains in critical condition due to loss of blood and internal injuries, the Express Tribune reported, quoting the hospital's doctors.
Local police have launched a criminal case against seven men for the kidnap and rape; no arrests have been made yet.
The girl's mother named five of the seven suspects. She reportedly told police that she hesitated to inform law enforcers because the kidnappers threatened to kill her and the girl if the woman spoke to authorities.
Station House Officer Irshad Joyia said they were ordered to arrest the suspects, but later were informed that the men had fled to Alipur village, the Express Tribune said.
According to a First Information Report (FIR) prepared by police, the girl was beaten and then kidnapped by three women and a man in front of her house in Manzoorabad in Rahim Yar Khanby. The kidnappers reportedly took her to another location where she was gang-raped by three men, one of whom was named in the FIR.
The girl was then allegedly taken back to the place from which she was kidnapped. The girl's mother told police she found her bloodied daughter near their house. She then took the child to Sheikh Zayed Hospital for examination and treatment.
The rape came weeks after a similar shocking case when a six-year-old Hindu girl was allegedly raped in Pakistan's southern Sindh province at the beginning of December. The child was also reportedly kidnapped and gang-raped. Residents of the province staged several protests in response to the incident.
These two recent cases in Pakistan coincide with a horrifying gang-rape in India that claimed the life of a 23-year-old student raped on a bus by six men, the youngest of whom reportedly was a minor. The six men have all been charged with murder, gang-rape, attempted murder, kidnapping and other felonies. They are expected to appear in court on Monday.
The case sparked mass protests in New Delhi. Demonstrators, particularly women, demanded the rapists be punished and called for the creation of new laws to protect Indian women.
The incident has drawn international attention to the high rates of violence against women in India, where rape victims often do not report to the police for fear of shaming their families or being ignored by law enforcement.